Contouring: Should You Try It & How It Works

Posted by: Niral

If you haven’t come across contouring yet, your make up routine is about to get a whole lot more complicated. Contouring is a technique used to alter the appearance of your features, from your face shape to your nose size.

Sometimes subtle and sometimes radical, this style of make up was born in vintage Hollywood and is now enjoying a renaissance thanks to ever-better products and some great tutorials from beauty bloggers who have turned this technique into something of an art form.

So, should you give contouring a go?

Well, there are two schools of thought on the matter. The first says: absolutely, why not! The second school asks: Haven’t we had enough of changing the appearance of our bodies? From Spanx to waxing, popular culture constantly tells us to look a certain way – shouldn’t we at least celebrate our own, unique facial beauty instead to trying to change the way our faces look?

Whichever side of the fence you come down on, there’s no denying that there’s a real art to contouring, and the ability to be a chameleon with contouring is a fun way to get creative with your look. You can even use it to exaggerate your favorite features.

How does it work?

Contouring is all about highlights and low lights. On light skin tones, a dark matte (never sparkly) powder or creme is used to reduce the appearance of prominent features, while a pale creme or powder will highlight and exaggerate areas of your face.
Opt for a brown shade, around three shades darker than your natural skin tone, to create “shade” and your favorite highlighter to add contrast.

How you contour after that is totally up to you. Some common tricks include…

• Using a dark shade around your hairline to shorten the forehead & add warmth to your make up look.

• Applying a darker tone along each side of your nose to help it appear slimmer and more define.

• Adding a dark tone below your cheekbones where shadow naturally falls and highlighting the cheek to create a strong cheekbone look.

• Stroking a dark tone along and beneath the jawline to give your jaw a slimmer, more defined appearance.

• Highlighting the bridge of your nose, avoiding the tip, to give your look a lighter, brighter glow.

Check out contouring in action…



Would you contour your face for a special occasion or just for fun? Have you given this technique a go? What were the results? Share your tips, opinions and experiences with other readers below.